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"Tournament director" redirects here. For the software, see Tournament Director.

Officials or staff are people who facilitate tournaments and games happening.

Tournament Officials

Tournament Director

The tournament director (or TD) is the logistical head of the tournament. Though the TD's responsibilities vary with the size of the tournament and number of assistants to whom responsibility can be delegated, some essential TD functions are:

  • Ensuring the registration of teams for the tournament, and serving as the main point of communication between participating teams and the host,
  • Reserving the rooms in which the tournament is to be held,
  • Acquiring enough other staff and equipment to run the tournament,
  • Getting the packets of the question set to moderators in proper order, either by making paper copies or by email at a paperless tournament,
  • Creating a schedule for the tournament,
  • Keeping track of payment,
  • Ensuring the keeping of stats, as well as their swift posting after the tournament for all teams who attended,
  • Determining protest resolution (or heading the protest resolution committee),
  • Awarding prizes and recognizing top scorers.

The tournament director of a tournament often uses a control room, or "War Room," separate from the game rooms as a place for the delivery of scoresheets, keeping of stats, and resolution of protests. (The NAQT HSNCT and NSC are large enough that the TD or TDs set up several control rooms below their own authority to handle different brackets or physical areas of the tournament.) In especially small tournaments, the TD may read for a room of the tournament.

All decisions made by the tournament director are final, except perhaps in cases of multiple physical sites for what is, in some sense, a single tournament (e.g. regional/district/sectional locations of a high school championship series).

Protest Committee

The protest committee is a small group of people appointed by the tournament director to decide protests. The committee may be a single person or several people; an odd number is generally ideal in case an issue must come down to a vote. If one or more primary editor(s) of the question set is/are available, they will typically be on the protest committee. The tournament director is usually on the protest committee.

Protest committees generally decide protests without knowing the identity/ies of the team(s) involved.

Local tournaments (as opposed to national championships) often decide protests much less formally.

Some rule sets require protests to be decided within the game room rather than involving external officials, rendering the notion of a protest committee inapplicable.


The statsperson, or stats guru or statkeeper, is responsible for collecting scoresheets from each individual game, entering them into a quizbowl statistics program such as SQBS, and displaying the results for teams to see. At some tournaments, the TD is also the statsperson; at very small tournaments, the statsperson may also be a moderator or scorekeeper. Large tournaments often have multiple statspeople.

Game officials



The moderator is responsible for reading the questions, determining the validity of responses, awarding/deducting points based on those responses, resetting the buzzer system prior to the start of the next tossup/bonus cycle, and resolving any protests that come up (or choosing to send them along to the tournament director). Some of these responsibilities may be delegated to or executed in collaboration with a scorekeeper. The moderator should have good knowledge of the rules used at the tournament and be able to apply them at all times. Sometimes the moderator acts as a scorekeeper as well if no scorekeeper is available.


The scorekeeper is responsible for keeping an accurate tally of individual and team points scored for each team. In many tournaments, particularly untimed tournaments with a small number of staffers, moderators keep score for themselves, sometimes requesting assistance from a coach in the room or even a player who is not in the game at the time.


Most quizbowl formats just need a moderator and scorekeeper in every room. Some formats use additional game officials.


Often a volunteer during playoff/finals matches of tournaments, the scoreboarder functions as a scorekeeper, recording the score on a blackboard, whiteboard, poster, or electronic presentation so that the audience can keep track of the score from afar during the match. In Illinois high school quizbowl, this function was traditionally performed by a non-playing team member on a whiteboard or blackboard.

Third Official

NAQT national championships typically assign a third official to late playoff games. The third official's responsibilities include following along in the packet to ensure there are no egregious misreadings; texting the control room or protest committee with any protests, likely protests, or other issues; possibly keeping backup score; helping evaluate borderline answers; and attending to any other issues. Depending on staff availability and multitasking ability, the third official may also operate the electronic scoreboard.


CBI tournaments used a judge whose role was to determine the validity of answers given by the players. The judge also recorded the points scored on each tossup or bonus in case there is a discrepancy in the score. In mainstream tournaments these jobs are handled by the moderator and scorekeeper, respectively. This is extremely similar to part of the Third Official job described above.

Reset/Timer Announcer

Another CBI official whose duties would be performed by the moderator in most other formats, the reset/timer announcer (or RTA) is responsible for starting the clock at the beginning of each half, recognizing the player that buzzed in, and then resetting the buzzer system.

Audiovisual Operator

For tournaments with audio and/or visual questions, and tournaments that record and/or amplify the players and/or moderator, an additional person may be required to operate the equipment.


Some local high school formats require a separate official to be in charge of timing the match.